Estonia’s labour market has performed comparatively well over recent years and ranks among the top performers in the EU. However, like many other EU countries, Estonia faces a number of structural labour market challenges. These include a shrinking labour force, substantial regional disparities and low employment rates for vulnerable groups.
In this context, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) has provided technical support to Estonia under the Structural Reform Support Programme. Through expertise of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the project supported the reform efforts of Estonia's Ministry of Social Affairs, with the objective to increase employment and help those with low skills to move into jobs with higher value added. Earlier this week, on 2 March, the closing event took place, marking the successful completion of the project and publicising its results.
The project focused on two key issues. First, it looked at whether the institutional and regulatory framework that underpins the provision of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) is performing well. Second, it assessed the current outreach strategies and ALMPs in order to identify possible gaps in provision. In other words, it assessed the extent to which the provision of support services covers all individuals in need, and whether the support, once provided, is tailored to their needs. The project included extensive consultations with key stakeholders in Estonia, a comprehensive analysis of administrative data from more than 20 national registries, and a comparative analysis of selected EU countries and Iceland.
The conclusions of the technical support point out to possible areas of improvements, both in terms of institutions and laws, as well as targeting ALMPs and outreach strategies. The conclusions will feed into Estonia’s reform agenda and contribute to an improved system of ALMP provision. Ultimately, this will help getting more people employed and move those who are already working into more sustainable and higher quality jobs.
More information about the project can be obtained here.
The final report with recommendations can be accessed here.
The recording of the closing event is available here.
5 March 2021